The day has been announced, the parties are being planned and websites are being prepped. Almost 5 years since the release of Drupal 7 in 2011, Drupal 8 will finally arrive November 19, 2015.
The arrival of Drupal 8 has been long overdue. It was the number 1 topic of discussion at Drupalcon Barcelona back in September. At the conference Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, promised launch was near. Now Drupal fans have that set date.
So what does this mean for current Drupal 6 and 7 users? What about people looking to make the switch to Drupal? What about Drupal’s community? And why is Drupal 8 such a big deal?
We’ve got the top 10 things you need to know about Drupal 8 right here:
1. Drupal 8 will be released November 19, 2015
It wasn’t a Halloween trick.
On October 30, Drupal.org announced that based on successful release candidates, Drupal 8.0.0 would be released on Novemeber 19.
If you haven’t caught on, Drupal 8 has been a highly anticipated upgrade. Back at Drupal Dev Days 2013, 2 years before Drupal’s launch announcement, German online agency, comm-press, asked Drupal developers and other attendees what they were most excited for with Drupal 8. Check out their short video and see just how excited people have been for this CMS upgrade.
As you can tell, November 19 will most definitely be a day celebrated in the Drupal developer community.
2. Get Ready to Party
The invitations are being sent out.
To put this into perspective, for Drupal enthusiasts around the world the week of November 19th is like the week between Christmas and New Years. And the community is ready to party like it’s 2011.
Drupal.org is listing every Drupal 8 launch party taking place the week of November 19.
To see if there’s a launch party in your city, click here. Or host your own party using Drupal.org’s party-planning resources. Make sure to use #celebra8d8 when promoting your party on social media.
3. Over 3,000 Developers Contributed
Have we mentioned the Drupal community is pretty kick ass?
The best part of Drupalcon Barcelona was getting to finally dip our Inflexion toe into the Drupal community pool. While we’ve been building websites on Drupal for years, we never had the opportunity to attend Drupalcon until this year. And it was definitely the year to go.
Over 3,300 developers contributed to Drupal 8. That’s a huge increase from the less than one thousand that worked on Drupal 7.
That many talented developers working on the project alone makes us pretty pumped to see what Drupal 8.0 has to offer.
4. Drupal 6 Support Ends February 19, 2016
Not to be a bummer, but we have to talk about the end of Drupal 6.
As with all beginnings, something’s going to have to end. In this case the thing ending is Drupal 6 support. What this means is the Drupal 6 core will cease to get security updates after February 19, 2016.
Does this mean your Drupal 6 website won’t work anymore? No.
And you won’t be alone if you choose to stick with Drupal 6. There are large, enterprise organizations and government associations that will continue to use Drupal 6 long after February 19.
If you are considering not upgrading to Drupal 8 before Drupal 6 support ends, you should check out OSTraining.com’s article “Should You Keep Using Unsupported Software?” to make sure you keep your website as safe and secure as possible.
5. What to do if your site is on Drupal 6 or 7
As the Drupal community looks towards the future with Drupal 8, many webmasters have to evaluate their options when it comes to their existing Drupal websites.
For reference, 75% of Drupal sites run on Drupal 7 and 23% on Drupal 6.
There are several different migration scenarios we could get into depending on your current CMS or the version of Drupal your website uses. Give us a call if you need any help discussing a migration path, or check out blog.openlucius.com’s piece “4 Considerations: Upgrade Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 or Drupal 8” to start thinking about upgrading to Drupal 8.
6. What makes Drupal 8 so special?
Nobody likes to upgrade. Yes at the end of it all you’re (usually) happy you did it, but sometimes it can be a bit of a headache.
Here’s a quick rundown of why you should be excited to get your website on to Drupal 8 CMS.
– Mobile responsive, even the backend
– Easier content management features
– Multilingual capabilities
– Significantly improved UX
7. Forms are in the Core
With Drupal 7 (and WordPress and a lot of other CMSs) if you want to create forms, you need a module or plug in.
No more with Drupal 8.
By default, Drupal 8 offers two contact forms: a personal contact form and website feedback form.
While Drupal 8 forms have standard normal fields, there are also customizable elements.
8. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
As we mentioned above, a huge feature of Drupal 8.0 is its mobile responsiveness.
We’re going to just give you a quote from Drupal.org because they perfectly sum up Drupal 8 on mobile:
We may sound a bit bias but it truly is taking CMS and mobile to the next level. With Drupal 8, administrative pages are accessible on a mobile device. As digital marketers who maintain multiple websites this is a pretty exciting development.
We’re sure if you’re reading this and you’re also someone who runs a CMS you’re nodding in agreement.
9. Who’s already been using Drupal 8?
10. Drupal 8.1 Rolls Out April 2016
Always looking towards the future, Drupal’s timeline is predicting Drupal 8.1 will roll out some time around mid-April 2016.
Is Drupal 8 going to turn out to have been worth the wait? We’ll find out soon enough. Until then, let’s get ready to #celebra8d8.